The Scapular sheds the illusion of this Matrix
This is a wonderful, little booklet can be read during a holy hour. The scapular is an important sacramental. I am uncomfortable any time my family is not wearing one, it's a grace to wear the scapular as the stories in this book will attest. There are powerful promises attached to it and duties for the enrolled...
The Scapular symbolizes both the recognition of the spiritual maternity of Mary and an acceptance of the spiritual duties that Christians, as children of Mary, are obligated to undertake in the service of God. For the layman who becomes a member of the Scapular Confraternity the spiritual duties are summed up in the observance of the Ten Commandments, daily prayer, attendance at Mass on days of obligation, the reception of the Sacraments of Penance and the Holy Eucharist, and the faithful performance of the duties of one's state.
Pius XI and Pius XII have urged those wearing the Brown Scapular of Our
Lady of Mount Carmel to be especially attentive in their personal lives to the
requirements of true Marian devotion. Pius XI wrote, ". . . although it is very
true that the Blessed Virgin loves all who love her, nevertheless those who wish
to have the Blessed Mother as a helper in [the hour of] death, must in life
merit such signal favor by abstaining from sin and laboring in her honor."38
Pius XII stressed the spiritual importance of the Scapular devotion:
We are not here concerned with a light or passing matter, but with the obtaining of
eternal life itself which is the substance of the promise of the most Blessed
Virgin which has been handed down to us. We are concerned, namely, with that
which is of supreme importance to all and with the manner of achieving it
safely. . . But not for this reason may they who wear the Scapular think that
they can gain eternal salvation while remaining slothful and negligent of
spirit, for the Apostle warns us: "In fear and trembling shall you work out your
salvation" (Phil. 2:12).39
Pius XII likewise emphasized the value of the Scapular devotion for society itself:
There is no one who is not aware how greatly a love for the Blessed Virgin Mother of God contributes to the enlivening of the Catholic faith and to the raising of the moral standard. These effects are especially secured by means of those devotions which more than others are seen to enlighten the mind with celestial doctrine and to excite souls to the practice of the Christian life. In the first rank of the most favored of these devotions, that of the holy Carmelite Scapular must be placed — a devotion
which, adapted to the minds of all by its very simplicity, has become so
universally widespread among the faithful and has produced so many and such
Nineteen popes have blessed and approved the devotion. When his Scapular was removed during his papal robing, Pope Leo XI said, "Leave me Mary, lest Mary leave me." When the Papal remains of Blessed Gregory X were exumed in 1830, over 500 years after his death, his Scapular was found intact. In 1916 Pope Benedict XV granted a 500-day indulgence each time it's kissed devoutly.
Vatican Council II (1962-1965) said in its document Lumen Gentium that the practices and exercises of Marian devotion "recommended by the teaching authority of the Church in the course of centuries be highly esteemed." Pope Paul VI, who approved the Council decrees, specifically endorsed the scapular. He said on February 2nd, 1965, "Ever hold in great esteem the practices and exercises of devotion to the Most Blessed Virgin which have been recommended for centuries by the Magisterium of the Church. And among them we judge well to recall especially the Marian rosary and the religious use of the scapular of Mt. Carmel."
THE SCAPULAR AT FATIMA
Not many people realize that the Scapular is part of the Fatima Message. On October 13, 1917, the Blessed Virgin appeared in a vision to Lucia, clothed in the robes of Our Lady of Mount Carmel. She was holding a Brown Scapular in her hand, and had her Infant Son upon her knee.
Lucia, later a Carmelite nun in Portugal, was questioned as to the importance of the Scapular in the Fatima Message, during an interview on August 15, 1950. She replied, "Our Lady wants all to wear the Scapular. The Scapular and the Rosary are inseparable."
Often, my oldest son will get asked what he's wearing around his neck. I encourage him to say, to those who can't be catechised about Mary in 2 minutes, that is is a prayer promise...a reminder about how to live his life and Who it is dedicated to. His witness is an opportunity to remind others of the next life, the eternal life. When we see a priestly collar or a nun in habit immediately our minds are lifted to God. They are apart from the world.
A scapular noticed is that on a smaller scale. But like the movie, The Matrix, it flashes a momentary realization that this, this conciousness is a veil to be lifted from our eyes. This garment of grace is a message from Our Mother of the life in the world to come.
My Saint Companion this year is Our Lady of Mount Carmel and on this, her feast day, I pray for her intentions and for her intercession.
For previous posts on the Scapular, including the use of the Scapular medal, see these. http://totustuusfamily.blogspot.com/search?q=scapular